October 3, 2010

Thomas Hoepker, Spencer Platt

There are two famous pictures which give you the impression of being relaxed or even "callous" in the middle of a catastrophe. Thomas Hoepker took a photograph of a bunch of people in New York, which lead to a debate on photo-ethics in Slate: the impression is completely wrong, argue some of the people who were photographed: it is not a picnic, but a conversation with strangers about what was going on that very moment.

The second picture, by Spencer Platt, was awarded with the World Press Photo prize in 2006. It shows wealthy Lebanese having in their car right after an Israeli attack.

(I take it that Facebook works a bit like this, projecting an image of people which does not necessarily reveal the truth. But that is another story...)

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